Course Outline


The Cambridge IGCSE Grade 9 Literature at GEMS Wesgreen International School aims to enable learners to read, interpret and evaluate texts. Learners develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. The range includes drama, prose and poetry from the works of Shakespeare to contemporary literature. Through their studies, they learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present informed, personal responses to the material they study. The syllabus also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting learners’ better understanding of themselves and of the world around them. Throughout the IGCSE course learners will be encouraged to practise close reading through the study of literary extracts; developing skills of analysis and interpretation of texts, alongside their expression of personal response to the texts studied. At Cambridge IGCSE level learners will study two drama plays, ten poems and fifteen proses. Learners will explore the conventions of genres of texts and the contexts in which works have been written, read and received.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of IGCSE Literature describe the purposes of the course based on this syllabus and suggests how the student may be changed by the learning experience. Thus, enabling the students to:

  • enjoy the experience of reading literature.
  • understand and respond to literary texts in different forms and from different periods and cultures.
  • communicate an informed personal response appropriately and effectively.
  • appreciate different ways in which writers achieve their effects.
  • experience literature’s contribution to aesthetic, imaginative and intellectual growth.
  • explore the contribution of literature to an understanding of areas of human concern.

Assessment Objectives

The assessment objectives (AOs) are:

  • AO1 Show detailed knowledge of the content of literary texts in the three main forms (drama, poetry and prose), supported by reference to the text.
  • AO2 Understand the meanings of literary texts and their contexts and explore texts beyond surface meanings to show deeper awareness of ideas and attitudes.
  • AO3 Recognise and appreciate ways in which writers use language, structure and form to create and shape meanings and effects.
  • AO4 Communicate a sensitive and informed personal response to literary texts.

All questions in this syllabus assess the four assessment objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4.

Ongoing Objectives

There are objectives that are covered and built upon throughout each unit of work. These will help students develop skills and abilities including:

  • Developing critical insight as well as subject knowledge with regard to the use transferable literary skills to produce polished final draft.
  • Developing higher order thinking skills – analysis, critical thinking, problem solving.
  • Presenting ordered and coherent arguments with supporting textual evidence.
  • Developing independent learning and research.
  • Developing confidence, especially in applying knowledge and skills in new situations
  • Building the vocabulary to discuss the subject conceptually and show how different aspects link together.

Unit Overviews

Grade 9 IGCSE level literature introduces, integrates and develops skills learnt at KS 1 and 2. Students engage in an overview of the skills needed in this course including analysis, note taking, introduction to essay writing techniques, and the use of embedded quotations.

Key Concepts:
The key concepts for Cambridge IGCSE level

Exploring the variety and use of language in literary texts. Identifying literary techniques and explaining how their use contributes to a reader’s analysis and understanding of the text.

Considering the ways in which writers use – or depart from – conventions of literary forms of prose, poetry and drama and how those inform meaning and effects.

When analysed in reading: the organisation of a text or passage, its shape and development and how this contributes to the readers’ understanding of its meaning and effects. When used in writing: the construction of a relevant and supported argument appropriate to the question.

Exploring the characteristics of different text types: for example, tragedy, comedy and satire.

Exploring the relationship between a text and its historical, social and cultural backgrounds and the ways in which this can illuminate the reading of a text. In response to unseen texts, considering the ways in which a text’s meaning is shaped by conventions of form alongside those of language and style.

Analysing the ways in which choices regarding form, structure and language interact to create a distinctive style, for different forms and genres.

Evaluating and explaining different ideas within a text using textual support as evidence.

These Key concepts enrich teaching and learning, and help students develop a deep understanding and make links between different aspects. They open up new ways of thinking about life experiences, understanding or interpreting the important themes be learned, and help students gain:

  • A greater depth as well as breadth of subject knowledge.
  • Confidence, especially in applying knowledge and skills in new situations.
  • he vocabulary to discuss their subject conceptually and show how different aspects link together.
  • A level of mastery of their subject to help them enter higher education.

Term 1 Subject content

Unit 1 – Poetry: Selected poems from “Songs of Ourselves”, Volume 2

Approximate length: 13 weeks

In this unit, learners will analyse fifteen poems focusing on the key concepts for Cambridge IGCSE Level Literature in English, and practice answering a variety of essay questions. Learners will also be introduced to essay writing techniques and how to embed quotations when writing essays.

Poems to be studied include:

MaElizabeth Barret Browning, ‘Sonnet 43’
James K. Baxter, ‘Farmhand’
Sujata Bhatt, ‘Muliebrity’
Isobel Dixon, ‘Plenty’
Rosemary Dobson, ‘The Three Fates’
Robert Hayden, ‘Those Winter Sundays’
Seamus Heaney, ‘Mid-Term Break’
Mervyn Morris, ‘Little Boy Crying’
Norman Nicholson, ‘Rising Five’
Adrienne Rich, ‘Amends’
Edna St. Vincent Millay, ‘Sonnet 29’
Dennis Scott, ‘Marrysong’
Stevie Smith, ‘Not Waving But Drowning’
William Wordsworth, ‘She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways’ya Angelou, ‘Caged Bird’

Specific Curriculum Objectives Covered:

Learners need to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the set texts they are studying and an appreciation of relevant contexts.
  • Analysis of the ways in which writers’ choices shape meaning and create effects.
  • An informed, independent opinion about the text studied.
  • Appropriate communication of literary ideas and arguments.

Term 2

Programme of Study

Term 3

Unit 3 – Drama

Approximate length: 7 weeks

In this unit, learners will be introduced to modern (20th century) drama for Cambridge IGCSE Level Literature in English. Learners will continue developing essay writing techniques and how to embed quotations when writing essays. The drama to be studied is:

1. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Specific Curriculum Objectives Covered:

Candidates must demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the set text they have studied and an appreciation of relevant contexts
  • Analysis of the ways in which writers’ choices shape meaning and create effects
  • An informed, independent opinion about the text studied
  • Appropriate communication of literary ideas and arguments.
  • Demonstrate, by informed discussion and opinion, an understanding of the ways in which meaning is expressed through a writer’s choices of language, form and structure.

EOY Exams

Approximate length: 4 weeks


Baseline Test: At the beginning of the academic year, the students write an internal and standardized baseline test, which is used to measure progress.

Formative: Throughout the units, the learners will complete graded work, quizzes, projects and speaking and listening activities which allows the teacher to assess the students attainment and inform their planning.

For each unit the students complete a pre and post write of the text type. This allows us to see progress across the units.

Summative: At the end of each term we complete internal and standardized tests. This allows us to measure the students’ progress throughout the term and year. At the end of the academic year, the students complete the standardized GL and NGRT assessment.


Action for blended learning

Due to Covid-19 safety measures, we are following a blended model of remote and face-to-face learning, which is technology-centred. In addition to the traditional

copybook, we will use:

  • GEMS Phoenix classroom.
  • GCSE pods.
  • Microsoft Office.
  • Education websites and applications, such as Kahoot, Padlet, Pear Deck, etc.

Next Steps